Ray Ferraro

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Seattle hires Cammi Granato as NHL’s first female pro scout

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Seattle’s NHL expansion team made some history on Wednesday, as they named Cammi Granato as the league’s first female pro scout.

Granato, 48, was announced along with four other scouts, including some other familiar names: Ulf Samuelsson, Stu Barnes, Dave Hunter, and John Goodwin. This continues a standout hockey career for Granato, who captained the gold-medal winning U.S. women’s team during the 1998 Winter Olympics, and was eventually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.

This continues a small-but-promising trend of NHL teams adding diversity to their front offices. Seattle already made strides in that regard, making Alexandra Mandrycky such a prominent hire (under the title “director of hockey administration”) that they actually brought Mandrycky on board before selecting Ron Francis as GM.

“What a time in sports right now, seeing all sorts of ceilings shattered by women,” Granato told Bob Condor of the Seattle expansion team’s website. “If I can inspire someone to become a scout or work in an NHL front office, that’s amazing.”

While the first reaction is “What took so long?,” it remains a promising trend, and savvy teams stand to earn a significant competitive advantage by expanding their view to a wider range or qualified candidates. The Toronto Maple Leafs are another team that stands out in this regard with their hire of Hayley Wickenheiser back in 2018.

(The San Jose Sharks were ahead of their time in hiring Deborah Wright as a part-time amateur scout back in 1992, although it doesn’t look like that lasted long.)

It sure seems like Granato has grown up surrounded by hockey people. Her brother Tony Granato had a memorable NHL career, and is currently coaching the University of Wisconsin’s men’s team. Her husband Ray Ferraro also had a noteworthy NHL career, and now serves as a fantastic television analyst, while Cammi’s other brother Don is an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres.

“Don has been my primary mentor over the years,” Cammi Granato said, via Condor. “I feel like I can ask him anything about the game and get great advice. Of course, I talk with Tony and Ray too.”

It wouldn’t be one bit surprising if Cammi Granato served as a mentor and inspiration for other people who dream of finding a job in the NHL, even if it means blazing a new trail or shattering a ceiling or two.

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Erik Condra evokes memories of Patrik Stefan for all the wrong reasons

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You’d like to think that hitting an empty net would be an easy thing to do in hockey. There’s no goalie there to stop the puck and all you have to do is poke it home. Erik Condra of the Ottawa Senators, however, would like to show you how it’s not as easy as it sounds.

During the second period of Ottawa’s 1-0 win over Boston, Condra had the puck on his stick with Tim Thomas well out of position to stop a shot that would’ve made it 2-0 at the time. Instead, Thomas caught a break because Condra yacked on the shot. Check out the tape.

Egad.

Of course, Condra’s miss didn’t cost his team the game thanks to Robin Lehner pitching a shutout which makes Condra way less famous than former Dallas Stars goat Patrik Stefan. Stefan had a truly empty net to ice the game and ended up going down in history as Ray Ferraro’s point of contention.

PHT Morning Skate: Blown leads and hurt feelings

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

It’s probably for the best that you don’t ask Max Pacioretty where Zdeno Chara is. Paul Gaustad found that out last night. (Buffalo News)

The Blackhawks aren’t happy about a blown call that helped lead to their overtime loss to Vancouver. (CSNChicago.com)

The Leafs’ loss to the Penguins had both a blown three goal lead and a bad call that ultimately cost the Leafs the game. Paging Brian Burke! (TSN)

Adrian Dater wasn’t very impressed with Semyon Varlamov’s performance last night against Edmonton. (All Things Avs)

Ray Ferraro got busted calling out Paul Martin when he thought he wasn’t on the air. Whoops. (Pensblog)

Martin Brodeur is going to get ridden line a mule down the stretch. Good thing he’s used to that sort of thing. (The Star-Ledger)

Are Bryan Allen and Hal Gill on the Flyers’ trade radar? (Philly Inquirer)

Andrew Cogliano’s hat trick may have been natural, but he says it was ugly. (OC Register)

Condolences to Phil Esposito’s family on the passing of his daughter Carrie. Carrie was also married to former Lightning forward Alexander Selivanov. (Lightning)

Finally, we think Detroit’s Jan Mursak may have been hooked at some point here against Calgary. (NHL)